Saturday, April 30, 2016

Sunday Post #140

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

This has been a nice week for the most part. I didn't do a ton of reading. Black Sails is now available on Amazon and I've been binging it all week. So... yeah that's a chunk of time. It started off a bit iffy but it's nice to be back in that world- there isn't really another show like it. I did see some news about returning shows also this week and I included some of that below. 

Last week I talked about genre and whether blogging changes how you read. This week I'll be talking about book spoilers on Tuesday and reviewing Silicon Dawn on Thursday. And hopefully reading! 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Bookcover Spotlight #46

This is just a very elemental scene, I think Frazetta was a master at drawing a savage prehistoric world. He also liked to draw his characters in buff.  

Thursday, April 28, 2016

World of Water

World of Water (Dev Harmer Mission, #2)

World of Water is a science fiction tale set on water planet Triton. Dev Harmer is an operative of ISS a security firm that sends its agents into trouble spots to scout and defuse tensions (if possible). Triton is right on the border with Polis space, a rival empire, and something is going on in the depths of Triton- the indigenous population are striking out at the Earth colonists and killing people. Dev's job is to find out what's going on. In order to facilitate this his consciousness has been downloaded into an aquatic form- he's basically half human/ half Tritonian, so he can operate under the water.

Dev Harmer is an interesting guy. He no longer has a physical body and he's now an indentured servant of ISS basically. They send him to trouble spots, downloading him into a body each time, and eventually he will earn the chance to have his original body rebuilt. Once on Triton he begins to investigate, and after securing a military escort (a complement of female Marines)he heads for the tropical areas where the trouble seems to be centered.

Along the way he makes the acquiantance of a native Tritonian who's pretty tough herself- and their relationship is interesting. They start off kind of rough but after she saves his life they slowly form a bond. The other great thing about this is the Marine crew- they're a tough bunch as well. They slowly earn each others' respect as the shit goes down. This is a fast paced story and is definitely plot driven but even though the characterization is not the focus I still got to know the characters. There is of course more going on than is readily apparent, and some nice twists and turns keep things hopping.

 The descriptions and feel of the planet are top notch- from the great storms to the undersea life, the twin moons and the floating colony towns, the great rolling waves- I loved the setting.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

12 Monkeys S2x02

Episode two starts off in 2044 with Cassie getting ready to go on a raid with Deacon- she's in full tactical gear. I have to say this is an interesting route they're taking with her character. We get a quick montage of her taking out a scavenger (her first kill?) and then working with Deacon and Jones to get the time travel machine working. She comes back to the present and shoots three guys belonging to the 12- the implication here is that she's harder now, willing to kill- just like Cole was when he first came back. Quite the role reversal!

And so we're back to the standoff from last time. It's Chinese New Year and Cassie and Cole are pointing guns at each other- Cassie feels like she needs to kill Jennifer to prevent the virus, and Cole is telling her no. Cole asks Jennifer not to drop the vial, but Jennifer says "But I'm supposed to. It's my purpose." We have a tense moment but then she slowly hands the vial over to Cole. "I'm going to be in so much trouble now," she says with a smile. She is so fun on this show, you never really know when she's crazy and when she isn't.

So everyone plays catch up, what they've been doing since the S1 finale. Cassie says they have to kill anyone associated with the virus, and Ramse detects Deacon's attitude in her words. Cassie tells them about the people that the 12 sent back, and no one knows where or when they are. They go to Jennifer's plane and get the rest of the virus, and burn it- and stuff starts to happen, they can feel time changing. But Cole says something is wrong. Cassie says they can't leave Ramse alive and she injects Ramse with Cole's tether and he gets pulled back to 2044. Then she goes back too.

She is killing it in this one! She tells Jones that they destroyed the virus but nothing happened. Jones tells her that something did happen. "You changed history." Cole and Jennifer are left in 2016, and Cassie and Jones discuss the changes in 2044. History was changed but  Cassie tells Jones that Cole has abandoned the mission, he's emotionally compromised. Wow, that's harsh.

Jennifer hears voices talking in her head leading her to the Emerson hotel. It's a dump and they get a room-210- but Jennifer says that's wrong, they need a prime number. Cole say's don't worry about it and they contact Jones, he tells her to write a note in her journal instructing her to send Cassie back to get him. I love how mind twisting this is. Meanwhile Jennifer is hearing the Striking Woman in her head telling her she has a purpose. And she flips out, breaking a mirror and attacking Cole. Deacon meanwhile is working Ramse over, and they have a discussion about fathers. Turns out Ramse went by Deac's house in the past and saw his father about to kill his mother, and he called the cops. Deac kind of freaks out and Cassie stops him from drowning Ramse.

There's an interesting dynamic going on with Cassie and Deacon. They seem to be on friendly terms and I can't tell if they're trying to make Deac a more appealing guy or if it's just that the characters are nuanced (I think the latter). Jones meanwhile summarizes some of the changes for the staff and we see that Dr. Lasky is alive (before the change he was killed when they attacked Spearhead). And... Dr. Eckland she doesn't know at all, which he says is odd since they have apparently been sleeping together! And poor Jennifer is at a loss- she doesn't know what her purpose is anymore, she took direction from her role as the progenitor of the virus. "Better living through mass extinction" as she puts it.

Apparently Striking Woman told her she was "primary"- that she could see the changes in time. Jennifer tells Cole that he wants Cassie to love him, but she doesn't. But being single isn't so bad, him and Cassie together would be though. Jennifer kisses him and he doesn't respond, then the manager shows them to the "correct" room- the suite has been reserved in perpetuity since 1944- by a James Cole. Jennifer sees a pic of him and Cassie from back then and despairs (apparently she has a thing for him) and slashes her wrist, but they bandage her up and Cole tells her to go, to leave all this behind, and find her purpose.

Then  Jones is brought before the Daughters (the group in the future who follow Jennifer) and they ask where James Cole is and why hasn't he been returned? Jones answers because he is no longer part of the project. See I'm just not buying that Jones and Cassie would throw him under the bus like that- way too abrupt. Anyway the Emissary of the Daughters tells Jones to bring Cole back, that he showed mercy long ago and for that a debt was owed and paid. She gives Jones a note, and Cassie goes back to get Cole. She hands him the note, and it's on Emerson hotel stationery and says "I found my purpose." Written by Jennifer.

So Cole is back in 2044 and a prisoner... just like Ramse. Cassie had Ramse's son brought there too as leverage against Ramse... man what is her deal now? Cole and Jones talk and she says that by changing the past they saved lives, and there is hope now. They don't know where the Messengers went in time, but she needs to know if he is still with her. He says he is, and then tells her he thinks 1944 is where the Messengers are. Then Cole talks to Cassie, and she says the mission will only work if he does what needs to be done. To which he replies-

"I was sent back in time to kill a man. That was supposed to fix everything. It didn't. So I killed more people. Nothing changed. And then I saved someone. Someone who should've died. And that- that- is what changed things. It's the only thing that's ever made any difference."

Then he tells her he's ready when she is, and hands her the picture of the two of them from 1944.

The 100 3x12

So... I love Harper. We start off with her and Miller and Bryan hanging out at the cave and they hear a noise. First Bryan then Miller investigate, but don't come back. Harper's like WTF? So she's ready to shoot whatever but gets blindsided from - a Grounder? Looks like it- but maybe not, hard to say.

Hey Emori's back! Cooking rats... nice. She and Murph look so much better together than him and Ontari. She assumes he's scoping Ontari for some thievery but he tells her he'll get away as soon as he can. We find out more about ALIE and apparently she (or rather Becca) intended ALIE 2 to atone for her mistakes- by having her merge with a human she wouldn't attack them. Or something. It's nice by the way seeing the gang all together in the Rover on the way back to Arkadia.

So they get to Arkadia and it's empty. Hmmm... where is everyone? Feels like they're walking into the dragons lair. They're looking for stuff and Jasper gets bonked. Octavia like an idiot goes to help him even though he warns her it's Grounders- and of course she's taken instead of putting up a fight. Dumb. Meanwhile Murph and Emori meet up and they go to the Flamekeepers place and start getting it on- come on Murph really? You know this isn't going to go well. Bellamy tries to keep everyone moving but Raven and the rest start looking at how to activate ALIe2, since Raven thinks she knows how.

They manage to activate it but it almost gets Raven and they realize they need to find a host who can interface with it- someone who has the right blood. Then Clarke and Monty are taken by surprise by- Emerson- that jerk. Haven't missed him. Murph and Emori finish, um, what they were doing and he tries to warn her away, but then he's summoned to Ontari. Okay I'm sorry but this is ridiculous- Murph as the Flamekeeper, I'm just not getting that. Anyway Emerson is wreaking havoc and Sinclair gets... killed. Ouch. He wants Clarke of course, so she offers herself for her friends, but Bellamy says no way are you doing this alone. I am so enjoying seeing them work together.

So we have the obligatory showdown between Emerson and Clarke, and all looks bleak, but then at the last minute Clarke finds a way to chip Emerson. Yup, the ALIE 2 chip goes in his neck, and since he doesn't have the right blood, he's toast. Yay! Suffer Emerson! And he does, with blood all over and all that. Sayonara to that guy. Oh, to see Jaha go that way! So that's one loose end tied off. It's nice to see the eight of them together at the end- but it's not to be. Raven decides to stay at the Ark, to work on accessing ALIE through the mainframe or whatever- and Monty is staying with her, with Miller and Bryan and Harper to guard. So it's just Clarke, Bell, O and Jasper heading off to... wherever they're going.

A good episode I guess, even with that Emerson $%^& in it. I haven't even touched on the Polis storyline any further as it's ridiculous at this point. Not even going there.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Let's Talk About Genres

Do you have a favorite genre? I think most of us do, every reader has their preferences, but what interests me is when reading tastes change. I've been thinking about this. I was always a fantasy/ SF fan and sure I read a contemporary here and there but not very often. However after I started blogging I found myself reading those a lot more- and I read and review a fair amount of YA as well.

One of the nice things about blogging is it's hard NOT to be exposed to new books/ genres. I didn't read urban fantasy until recently, it took me a while to find the style I like, and I've always liked futuristic/ post apocalyptic stuff but dystopians as an actual label I didn't really know pre- blogging. I certainly wasn't reading a lot of the YA dystopians. And that kind of leads to subgenres too- cyberpunk, steampunk, urban - there are a ton of subgenres in fantasy/ SF. Contemporaries run the gamut from romance to magical realism. There's so much there.

Mysteries are another one. I've read historical mysteries, cozy mysteries, thrillers, even mysteries in a SF setting. You can have a mystery anywhere I guess, and they're good for adding tension (murders and secrets tend to do that) but there's such a wide array there as well.

Here are a few titles that I probably would not otherwise have tried. Looking over this list there are a few that I wouldn't even have known about let alone read. So I've come to the conclusion that I'm a much more eclectic reader now than I ever was.

Big Little LiesThe Blue: A NovelEight Hundred GrapesThe Immortals (Olympus Bound, #1)NeedThe PassengerPanicTidesA School for Unusual Girls (Stranje House, #1)Sanctuary BayVitro (Corpus, #2)

So... what do you think? What are your favorite genres, and more importantly has book blogging inspired you to try other ones?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Game of Thrones Thoughts

Well Game of Thrones is back and I thought I'd share some thoughts on the first episode. I thought this was a very powerful opener, especially the beginning. Jon Snow is dead, no question about it, and I find it interesting that Davos is the one to find him. Davos and a few loyalists take his body in and are smart enough to get the direwolf too. I liked how his howling by the way kinda set a tone. In the book there are a ton of wildlings and even a giant at Castle Black when Jon is stabbed, so from a book standpoint all chaos may break loose right after the attack on Jon. You could have Wun Wun the giant lashing out, wildlings vs Nights Watch, plus Stannis has people there too- which side will they take? It may depend on what Melisandre chooses, and she'll choose Jon.

So... in the show however we're down to a standoff between Davos and Alliser. Although Dolorous Edd went off to get help- maybe he's going to get wildlings? I thought this was all well done, and I was just waiting for fighting to break out when they try to get at Davos- but now I think Edd's going to get help before that happens.

Okay let's talk about the reveal. Yeah it happened at the end but I'm bumping that up. Melisandre... is really really old. That was well done and quite the shocker, although there have been hints. I assumed Mel would rush to Jon's aid, but she goes to bed after showing her true form. Is she having a crisis of faith? Hard to tell... this is easily the most interesting storyline at the moment.  What did you think?

Sansa and Theon on the run. Also well done. When they're running through the woods it just how I always imagined the wolfswood would look. Very nice locations. I was surprised they were cornered so quick- but then Brienne shows up. I like her more in the books than on the show (I think it's the actress) but nevertheless Sansa has now sorta been rescued. Where will they go?

Cersei- I almost felt sorry for her. Losing Myrcella... that's tough, but then again Maggy the Frog predicted all this. And the Jaime of the show is SO different from the Jaime of the books -we are really diverging here. Margaery is still in cell, and the shocker of the night comes from Dorne. This is the sound of the producers chopping story fat away ruthlessly- in the books Doran is revealed to be a very patient man who takes the long view and has a plan in place- but the show has excised most of that, so I guess Doran wasn't needed. Killing him and Trystane off - yeah I think Dorne is just being used to highlight the Sand Snakes until Dany comes back.

What's Tyrion doing? Walking around Meereen with Varys (and no guards???) and doing nothing- we see that ships are being burned. Oops- but then they'll have all the ships they need, because Euron is coming. It was around this time I started to realize we're not going to see Jon much- they were jumping from storyline to storyline, giving us a peek at each, and the episode was winding down. Everyone on this show is just too scattered. We get Arya being tormented by the Waif, a development that was different in the books as the Kindly Man did the hitting with the staff.

So back to Melisandre. What do you think of the big reveal? Everyone is assuming she will resurrect Jon Snow, and maybe she will- but I wouldn't be surprised if his coming back happens a different way. Not sure what that is- and I think Mel will play a role- but I think there may be another surprise on the way.

Cover Characteristics Circuses

Cover Characteristics is a meme by Sugar and Snark- every week a characteristic is selected and we post 5 books with that week's theme.  

This week's pick- Carnivals  

This week we're talking carnivals. Places of excitement, of wonder and sin.  The lure of the unknown, the draw of the unexpected- what surprises might be waiting in the tents or shadows of circuses or carnivals? This setting would seem tailor made for urban fantasy, or weird fantasy- after all, if paranormals existed, where better to hide, or to find others of their kind? And at least one book below has that very premise- Menagerie seems to be a haven for strange creatures of myth. So... let's peek under the big top, or prowl the dusty lanes after hours when the mundanes are all gone, and see what wonders or terrors await. 

The Wanderers (The Wanderers, #1)Water for ElephantsCarniepunk

The Wanderers (The Wanderers, #1)

I've been wanting to read this one (since last fall) and have just never gotten around to it. It's got shifters in a circus- what's not to like?

Water for Elephants

We need more gritty stories set in circuses.

This one is a FLYING circus I know, maybe I'm cheating but I just liked it.

This one's nice with the exotic looking cityscape, the stars and the moon.


Carniepunk! This one looks sinister and is that blood I see all over the cover?


This one is nice- I like the red and the black. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sunday Post #139

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Another nice sunny week (for the most part) and a good reading week. I feel like I'm caught up now with most of the shows I've been watching, and I did some writing this week as well so it was a busy week. I also put up Part 2 of Trust Issues - you can find that here.  


And I'm listening to... 




It Starts At Midnight has a Bookish Movie Reviews Allegiant

Readers in wonderland talks The Pros and Cons of Mood Reading

Friday, April 22, 2016

Bookcover Spotlight #45

I like this one- the tropical setting, the beach and even the lime green chair cushions. The beach and a drink- what's not to like?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Trust Issues Part 2

She came out of the bathroom and he was gone. She knew something hadn't sounded right, the hitch in his voice- something was up. Sure enough he had left in a hurry. She gave Sabby a nudge with her foot - there was rice all over the floor- as she went to the door and cautiously peered out. No sign. But of course. He's not going to stick around if... Swearing to herself, she closed the door and thought a minute. What had happened? He had been happy, laying there... oh shit. Quickly she went to the bed and thumbed on the screen. There it was- a message. And he must have seen it. Jerk.

She liked him- more than that actually. They had been magic together, as evidenced by the fact that she'd been blowing off pretty much everything since they started dating. Dating. For him it was dating, for her it been a job. But the last few days... she'd been thinking how to tell him, how to get out of it. There was no out of it though.

She jumped when the door chimed. For a split second she thought it was him- then she knew better. With a sigh and pulling her robe closer she opened the door. There were two of them, big guys in body armor and helmets with the visors down. Not taking any chances.
She waved them in and stepped back as they entered, weapons lowered and eyes darting around the place.
"He's not here," she said. "Somehow he got wind and he took off. I don't know how, dammit, but I think he read my messages."
The guy who was clearly the senior of the two didn't answer, just nodded his companion to the bathroom while he scoped the kitchen. They were thorough and cleared the place efficiently, she expected no less. When they were done the lead guy stepped in front of her.
"How long?"
"Twenty minutes-maybe a half hour," she lied. "I think he took off as soon as I got in the shower."
"Hmm. Have you called it in?"
"Call it in," he directed to the other guy.
"Is he armed? What's he wearing?"
She made some shit up and no he wasn't armed. She wanted to say more, to tell them to go easy if they found him, but she dare not seem too concerned. As it was this looked bad. For all she knew they'd audit her and then she was screwed.

The other guy was talking quietly to dispatch, then thumbed off his comm.
"If he comes back, or contacts you, you let us know right away. Got it?"
"Yeah, I got it. This guy just cost me a lot of money, don't get in my shit about it," she snapped.
He just looked at her skeptically, then they turned to go. "Right. You have a good night now."
"I will." Asshole.
They left and she closed the door, leaning against it and taking a deep breath. She was afraid, it was the first time she'd ever screwed up like this and she wasn't sure how they would handle it. Increase their eyes on her, she had no doubt. Then she slammed her hand against the wall, angry at herself for being afraid. Fuck them. What do I do now?

He watched from the cafe as the two men arrived, in the gray body armor and helmets that marked them as private security forces. The door opened and they went in, and he smiled to himself. Surprise. Nobody home- well, not me anyway. He took a drink and kept his eye on the door as well as the concourse in general- no sense getting blindsided by anyone else. They didn't stay long- less than five minutes and they came out again, one of them talking into the commpiece on his shoulder. They came towards the concourse, and he slouched a bit as their gaze roamed over the crowds. Then they turned and went the other way and were gone.

For a crazy moment he thought about going back, talking to her. Maybe it wasn't too late to salvage something... but no, that was crazy. She had called them there to pick him up, bottom line. If he was smart he would get his ass out of there and not come back.  Not even hit this tower again. Still, the thought of not seeing Kayla again hurt- he knew he'd fallen hard but now it was even worse. The thought that he couldn't have her, that she'd just been using him...
Damn it! 
Several patrons turned to look as he slammed his glass down. He glared back, then waited a few minutes before paying for his drink and slipping out.

She went to Mac's because she wasn't sure where else to go. She'd been calling him- no answer- and she didn't know any of his friends. They hadn't gotten that far. They had spent time down here though, getting drunk and then staggering back to her place.  She stood on the platform listening to the sounds of the city, the constant air traffic and the neon assault, the pulsing music from the nightclubs. Mac knew her vaguely, she'd been here once or twice for a job, but he'd known Nick better. The music was loud as she entered, but not as loud as the deep bass notes from the neighboring strip club. A rough area, but not the worst.

"Hey Mac," she called out as she took a stool at the bar. He was wiping down the counter, something he always did even when it was clean.
"Hey hon- how are ya?" he replied.
"I'm good. You?"
"Just fine" He set a beer in front of her.
She took a drink. And a deep breath.
"Mac, something happened with Nick and I. I'm trying to find him."
She waited a moment. Mac was wiping again.
"Have you seen him?"
"No," he answered without looking up. "Hasn't been in."
"Well, I've been trying to reach him. If you see him let him know, huh?"
"I will."
"Oh, and Mac? Thanks."
He looked up then.
"For what?"
"For everything. For... taking good care of us when we made asses of ourselves."
He smiled, an easy smile. "Happens to the best of us."
"Well... thanks all the same."
He went off to help someone else. She nursed her beer for a bit, listening to the music competing with the bass thunder next door, and occasionally glancing at the door. Every time someone came in she hoped it was him. But it never was. After a bit she paid and got up to leave, waving at Mac as she walked out.

"Hey Kay."
She turned back. "Yeah?"
"Shame about you two. You looked good together."
"Yeah," she replied as she walked out. "I thought so too.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The 100 3x11

So this week we have Jasper and Clarke on the run in the jeep. Jasper is clearly still pissed at Clarke- I almost forgot that little thing was never addressed. And Octavia tells Bellamy what she thinks- he doesn't get to be one of the good guys just because he turned in Pike. She says he was hurting (because of Clarke leaving?) and lashed out- and people died as a result of his choices. Um, pretty much yeah. O's about to take off when Clarke and Jasper arrive with Raven, and she stays.

Jasper and Clarke fill them in, and Clarke pulls out the Flame chip she got from Polis. Raven wakes up and sees (and thus ALIE sees) it and ALIE says oh that's my version 2 chip. Raven tries to get out to see where she is and they stop her. Clarke then says they need to go, she knows where they can get a wristband (the item they need to hopefully negate ALIE). They go to... the trading post (yay- Naila again!) but she's not very friendly, as her father was killed in the massacre. See Bellamy??? They force their way in and try to tie Raven down, but she fights and they can barely handle her.

Clarke tells Naila they need the wristband and she gets it- then they have to get it to work. Apparently they can send an EMP pulse to destroy the chip, but they need an electro magnet. Where can they get one? The Ark, of course. Too dangerous so they decide to try the dropship- Octavia and Monty go off to get. Raven meanwhile dislocates her own shoulder to try and get free- while ALIE looks on. Creepy bitch! She reopens her wound and they have to calm her down- Clarke tells ALIE/ Raven that she'll never get the chip if she lets Raven bleed, and ALIE acquiesces.

Raven then goes to work on Clarke, asking her if she sees the faces of the people she's killed, blah blah. Still going down this road, I wish they'd get over it. And... it works. Raven pushes Clarke's buttons, Clarke freaks and says they're going to fry ALIE, and from that ALIE figures the plan out. Sigh. Monty and Octavia get to the dropship and discuss O's plan to leave. "You're one of The 100," Monty tells her. Maybe best line of the night? Meanwhile Clarke and Bellamy talk- Bellarke again! All too brief.

Monty gets what they need but Octavia is suddenly missing- and then Bitch Unit Alpha shows up (aka Monty's mom). First of all, I don't think there's any way the Arker could get to the dropship that fast. But whatever- ALIE has BUA in her control and she tries to get Monty to swallow the chip. Octavia helps and BUA turns on her, and is about to kill her- forcing Monty to shoot his mom. And kill her. Wha????? ALIE you've gone too far.

Image result for the 100 s3 e11 image

Raven knows they're on their way back (thanks to ALIE) so she goes to work on Jasper and Bellamy, trying to push their buttons too. What kills me is they all hear Raven talking and they could easily gag her, but they don't, Which is a mistake because Naila hears that Bellamy was in on the massacre and ta da ALIE knows where they are. I hate ALIE. Why is this show so good at making me hate these people? Anyway ALIE realizes Raven is compromised when they're about to EMP her, and has Raven try to kill herself. Clarke says she'll give ALIE the version 2 chip if she relents. and she does. But Clarke lied (I like Clarke). But wait... the battery's not stong enough. Naturally.

They manage to zap her after getting the battery from the jeep and... it works? Jasper tries to destroy the chip and Clarke freaks- because Lexa is in there. Then she realizes... maybe the chip has to physically be removed from Raven. She incises where Lexa's chip was removed and what's left of it oozes out (nice) and Raven is okay. Finally some good news? Although Monty is hurting - the nicest guy on the show, too bad.

Bellamy and Clarke have a moment, and he asks her "What do you do when you realize you might not be the good guy?" and Clarke answers "Maybe there are no good guys." Is that the theme of this show, or what? So... Raven says she knows the version 2 AI is the only way to stop ALIE, so looks like it's war... Bellamy, O, and the rest. Good to have the gang back together.

12 Monkeys S2x01

The first episode of 12 Monkeys season two starts with a bang. Ramse is on the run in Budapest being pursued by Olivia and her cronies- they catch him but it's a ploy, Cole sets off some exlosives and they have a standoff with Olivia. But she has reinforcements on the way so they have to jump off a bridge to escape. Solid beginning, with awesome shots of Budapest.

I like what they're doing here- shaking things up. Cole and Ramse are working together again while Cassie is in the future. Olivia puts a man on Jennifer to watch her, and Ramse tells Cole the 12 Monkeys will always be a step ahead because of the Witness. We see that the two of them are still not eye to eye. So things are touch and go with these two. They're trying to figure out how the 12 keep finding them, and realize that Ramse must have a tracking device implanted in him. Cole heads off to find a guy Ramse knows who can get it out.

We head off to 2043 and Cassie wakes up, and Katarina is there. Cassie tells her that Ramse was working for the 12 and they discuss Cassie shooting Ramse. "Grieving over who we were only gets in the way of who we need to become" Katarina says. Deacon comes and introduces himself to Cassie, and takes Katarina to see the 12. The hooded dudes are sending one of their own back and make Katarina start the machine- but she sabotages the jump and their guy gets... fried is one way to put it. Literally burned up and torn apart. Then she laughs and says Who's next?" Awesome- I am starting to really like her.

The 12 are of course infuriated, and when she refuses to unlock the system to try and undo it, the leader is about to kill Cassie. But their tech guy figures out the encryption, Cassie is spared, and they succeed in sending someone back. Cole meanwhile tracks down Dr. Kalman and gets him to help Ramse. Deacon takes Cassie and she notices he is sick. She appeals to him to help her stop the 12 and tells him she can get him medicine. He of course declines but we know where this is going- Deacon is going to join the side of the angels, I have no doubt.

Kalman gets the tracker out, but surprise he injected Ramse with something that paralyzes him and says he intends to turn Ramse over. The virus is due to be released in days, at the Chinese New Year, in Manhattan. He then tries to kill Cole but Cole offs him instead, and when Cole asks Ramse if Kalman said anything, Ramse says... "nothing". So that's how it's going to be. Deacon apparently has decided quickly he wants to be well, so he and Cassie break her out by killing her guard.

Cole and Ramse are going their separate ways, and Ramse tells Cole it's New York. The 12 are using Jennifer to unleash the virus. So... off they go. Partners still... and in NYC we find Jennifer at a speed dating site and it's obvious she's still not right. She has the virus with her! Yay. Deacon and crew are sweeping the complex and the 12 are sending more people back, so they overload the equipment and take out the 12 (or the ones that are left). Looks like D's in charge now. The machine is toast but Katarina will rebuild...

Chinese New Year! Cole and Ramse are in Chinatown and trying to find Jennifer. Cole of course finds her and like an idiot, calls her name instead of just going up and grabbing her. She wants him to shoot but he doesn't, and then the 12's people show up. Standoff! Looks like Cole is done- but who comes to the rescue? Cassie. She shoots the bad guys (and Jennifer is cracking up as she does- love her!) and then reveals that her and Katarina figured things out in 2044 and she's here to stop Jennifer.  And that's how we end- Cole and Cassie pointing guns at each other.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Let's Talk About Androids

Androids are all over the popular culture right now. Sometimes they're called synths or replicants or whatever- but they're basically designed to look and act like a human. Most of the stories about androids explore whether they should be treated as humans or if they're just machines.  

Can an android have feelings? If there are no feelings or sense of "self" is it just a machine? But once feelings are involved- once an android  can make decisions based on feelings or self awareness  does an android warrant consideration as a persons? 

And then there are the practical considerations of having one. Would you want an android? If someone is alone or elderly would they be a good companion? And would you be comfortable going to sleep knowing they're there? 

Do you have a favorite book or movie dealing with androids? Here are a few I think are good. 

Ex Machina is the best android movie I've seen in a while, it's very moody and atmospheric and explores whether an artificial life form such as an android should have the same rights as a person- or any rights. Alicia Vikander portrays Ava, the android in question, and the film also stars Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac (both of whom were in Star Wars The Force Awakens). Their roles in this movie are very different to say the least. 

Blade Runner of course is a classic and while it's not my favorite movie, I do like the visual effects and the rainy, neon lit dystopia that it represents. I think the story gets a little weird but I was fascinated by the replicants that are hunted by the police for the crime of existing and wanting more life. 

Humans is a show on AMC/ Channel 4 that explores all these themes as well. Set in the near future where synths are available for house hold tasks (and even sex) it of course becomes apparent that some of them have feelings.  

You can have a look at the user guide for a Synth here. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Cover Characteristics #24

Cover Characteristics is a meme by Sugar and Snark- every week a characteristic is selected and we post 5 books with that week's theme.  

This week's pick- Alcoholic Beverages  

This week we're talking alcohol on the cover. Interesting topic- and a little tough. I needed a drink after looking for these. :) 

Murder at the Brightwell (Amory Ames Mystery, #1)Let the Lover Be  

This was a good book and don't they look so elegant? 

Murder at the Brightwell (Amory Ames Mystery, #1)

Not my favorite but the play on words...

 Okay then. 

This one's okay...

Let the Lover Be


This is actually a book

A nice cover.